Friday, February 12, 2016

Crafty Friday: Fairy Tale Amigurumi: Crochet Patterns by Lis Sun

I am trying to get organized enough to get some regular blog posts going again. So Crafty Friday is returning with Fairy Tale Amigurumi: Crochet Patterns by Lis Sun. Since most of you are like-minded and mostly want to enjoy the pictures and cleverness of the crafts, I have pictures! Enjoy!

I really do like the Amigurumi style.

Book description:

This compilation consists of the fairy tales that we grow up with. The stories of red riding hood and the big grey wolf, the nursery rhymes of dumpty humpty, the little pinocchio that grows a long nose when he lies, the beautiful rapunzel saved by the charming prince, and the famous Chinese teaching on the frog in the well.

This book consists of written pattern instruction and well illustrated pictorial instruction with generous spread of photos to guide you along.

Skill level: *Easy
*Patterns use basic stitches such as sc, dc, hdc, inc, dec, ch, sl st etc.

I found many of these images on Lisa Sun's various internet hangouts. At SAPlanet, she tells a little more about this pattern's inspiration, which is not the expected European frog, well, etc. stories:

One of the most commonly used Chinese phrase would be ‘frog in the well’ – ( 井底蛙 )

This usually refers to one who thinks too full of himself, and thinks he knows everything, neglecting the fact that there is a bigger world out there than the shallow well he stays in.

And let's not forget Humpty Dumpty...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bargain Ebook: The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That Feature Them

The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That Feature Them by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Jensen is on sale for 99 cents in ebook format. No, there are not any fairy tales inside, but there are books that draw from fairy tales, like Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This has been on my wishlist for a while so I was thrilled to add the ebook version to my library for a buck. There is a treasure trove of books I love saluted within.

Book description:

Wake up to a perfect breakfast with Mrs. Dalby's Buttermilk Scones, courtesy of James Herriot's All Things Bright and Beautiful and Ichabod's Slapjacks, as featured in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. There's homey comfort food like Connie May's Tomato Pie, created with and inspired by Connie May Fowler (Remembering Blue); Thanksgiving Spinach Casserole (Elizabeth Berg's Open House); and Amish Chicken and Dumplings (Jodi Picoult's Plain Truth) . . . Sample salads, breads, and such soul-warming soups as Nearly-a-Meal Potato Soup (Terry Kay's Shadow Song); Mr. Casaubon' s Chicken Noodle Soup (George Eliot's Middlemarch); and Mrs. Leibowitz's Lentil-Vegetable Soup (Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes) . . . After relishing appetizers and entrees, there's a dazzling array of desserts, including Carrot Pudding (Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol); Effie Belle's Coconut Cake (Olive Ann Burns's Cold Sassy Tree); and the kids will love C.S. Lewis's Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Sprinkled throughout with marvelous anecdotes about writers and writing, The Book Lover's Cookbook is a culinary and literary delight, a browser's cornucopia of reading pleasure, and a true inspiration in the kitchen.

Shaunda Kennedy Wenger is author of two YA/MG novels: The Ghost in Me and Reality Bites, Tales of a Half-Vampire (2012 Book of the Year Award Finalist, ForeWord Reviews), as well as an award-winning chapter book: Little Red Riding Hood, Into the Forest Again. Her newest cookbook, From Rivets and Rails, Recipes of a Railroad Boarding House Cookbook, is based on the cookery journal of her great-grandmother. Her work has been published in Babybug, Ladybug, Wonder Years, ByLine, and Short-Short Stories for Reading Aloud (The Education Center, 2000). She regards her monthly book club meeting as one life's essential ingredients.

Janet Kay Jensen is author of Don't You Marry the Mormon Boys (Cedar Fort) and the upcoming Gabriel's Daughter's (Jolly Fish Press). She has received numerous awards for essays, poetry, and short stories, including three ByLine Magazine honorable mentions. A speech-language pathologist, she holds degrees from Utah State University and Northwestern University. She is writing a novel, teaches poetry classes to jail inmates, and is a literacy tutor. Married and the mother of three sons, she is a consultant at Utah State University.


Jo's Best Omelette . . . Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
No Dieter's Delight Chicken Neapolitan . . . Thinner by Stephen King
Extra-Special Rhubarb Pie . . . The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
Grand Feast Crab Meat Casserole . . . At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
Persian Cucumber and Yogurt . . . House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Tamales . . . Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Bev's No-Fuss Crab Cakes . . . Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell
Macaroni and Cheese . . . The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Veteran Split Pea Soup . . . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Alternative Carrot-Raisin-Pineapple Salad . . . Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
Summer's Day Cucumber-Tomato Sandwiches . . .
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
Refreshing Black Cows . . . The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
Dump Punch . . . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Not Violet, But Blueberry Pie
. . . Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Innocent Sweet Bread . . . The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Daddy's Rich Chocolate Cake . . . Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

. . . and many other delectable dishes for the literary palate!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Family Moment: The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon

So last week I gained a very great affection for The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon. Why? Family, of course.

About once a month, I take a small suitcase filled with books and puppets and such to visit my sister's family. Kensie and Clark, my niece and nephew, are 6 and 3 years old, so Clark is overall more interested in most of the books and puppets these days since Kensie is aging out on some of the younger books for now. (Not that I ever did.) She loves books, bless her parents who have been literally reading to her every day since the day she was born, and this visit coincided with her birthday. She was as excited about the books I gave her as any of her other gifts. She and I had some fine reading moments that day, too, but this is about Clark this time.

(I found this image of my bag online--this is for sale for a crazy price, but this is what my storytime bag looks like. Lots of fun pockets for treasures and plenty of space for books without breaking my back. I love it and so do the kids.)

Clark is all boy and his attention span is getting shorter although he is a great reader, too. But he likes to be on the move. And he loves, loves, LOVES vehicles of all kinds. So I have peppered my offerings with various books over the last year. In the fall, I added The Three Little Rigs to my bag. We have read it about three times together now. Problem is, I wasn't sure if he was enjoying it. I had removed all of the regular books from my bag to make room for holiday titles. And The Three Little Rigs failed to make it back in the bag this month. I had reshelved it and forgotten it.

So Clark and I read about three books when he went digging in my bag again and looked up at me with a plaintive look in his eyes. "I want the Big Bad Wrecking Ball," he said. I looked back at him blankly for a few seconds before it hit me he was requesting this book. He hadn't had it read to him in over two months, but he remembered it and requested it. I was suddenly just as disappointed as he was that it wasn't in my bag.

So if you have a child in your life who loves, loves, LOVES vehicles I also recommend this one. It is still in print and a reasonable price. David Gordon also wrote Hansel and Diesel and The Ugly Truckling which I didn't own but have now ordered so I have them to share with Clark when I see him again later this month. They are out of print so their prices fluctuate wildly.

And, yes, the first time we read it, Clark understood perfectly well that this was a Three Little Pigs story. He prefers this version though because VEHICLES. I always make sure there are fairy tales on offer in my bag but that isn't all I add. So it is a sweet moment for me when the fairy tales are beloved by the kids, too.

Book description:

"Little rig, little rig, let me come in!"
"Not by the chrome on my chinny chin chin."

"Then I’ll crash and I’ll bash and I’ll smash your house in."

When the three little rigs set out to build their own garages, each one thinks that his is going to be the strongest. But then the big bad wrecking ball comes to call and threatens to smash their new homes to smithereens. The brothers learn that it’s only by bravery and teamwork that they can win the day. A comic sequel to the ugly truckling.

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Release: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

(Amazon US/UK Covers)

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan is new this week. I have received a review copy but haven't read it yet. It has some definite inspiration from Rapunzel and other Maiden in the Tower tales and is the start of a series.

The Reign of Shadows (UK Edition) will be released on March 1, 2016.

Book description:

Destiny and darkness collide in this romantic, sweeping new fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan.

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok's lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna's survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn't stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

New Release: Wickedly Powerful: A Baba Yaga Novel by Deborah Blake

Wickedly Powerful: A Baba Yaga Novel by Deborah Blake is a new release this week. This is the third title in her Baba Yaga series.

Book description:

The author of Wickedly Wonderful returns to her “addicting” world of Russian witches in the latest Baba Yaga novel.

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

The only thing more fiery than Bella Young’s red hair is her temper. She knows that a Baba Yaga’s power without strict control can leave the people she cares about burned, so to protect her heart—and everyone around her—the only company she keeps is her dragon-turned-Norwegian-Forest-cat, Koshka.

But when Bella is tasked with discovering who’s setting magical fires throughout Wyoming’s Black Hills, she finds herself working closely with former hotshots firefighter Sam Corbett—and falling hard for his quiet strength and charm.

Sam may bear the scars of his past, but Bella can see beyond them and would do anything to help him heal. Only before she can rescue her Prince Charming, she’ll have to overcome the mysterious foe setting the forest fires—a truly wicked witch who wields as much power and even more anger than Bella...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bargain Ebook: Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson

Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson is on sale this month in ebook format for $2.99, down from the usual $9.99 range. Hopkinson uses folklore in her novels and this one uses some Robin Hood and other tale types.

Book description:

It's Carnival time and the Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint is celebrating with music, dance, and pageantry. Masked "Midnight Robbers" waylay revelers with brandished weapons and spellbinding words. To young Tan-Tan, the Robber Queen is simply a favorite costume to wear at the festival-until her power-corrupted father commits an unforgiveable crime.

Suddenly, both father and daughter are thrust into the brutal world of New Half-Way Tree. Here monstrous creatures from folklore are real, and the humans are violent outcasts in the wilds. Tan-Tan must reach into the heart of myth and become the Robber Queen herself. For only the Robber Queen's legendary powers can save her life . . . and set her free.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Kindle Daily Deal: The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher for $1.99

The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher is one of the Kindle Daily Deals on sale for $1.99 TODAY ONLY. This is a Bluebeard retelling with some unusual twists.

Book description:

Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don’t turn down lords—no matter how sinister they may seem—Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement.

Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding. Upon arrival, she discovers that not only was her betrothed married six times before, but his previous wives are all imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Determined not to share their same fate, Rhea asserts her desire for freedom. In answer, Lord Crevan gives Rhea a series of magical tasks to complete, with the threat “Come back before dawn, or else I’ll marry you.”

With time running out and each task more dangerous and bizarre than the last, Rhea must use her resourcefulness, compassion, and bravery to rally the other wives and defeat the sorcerer before he binds her to him forever.

New Book: Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna (A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery) by Maia Chance

Beauty, Beast, and Belladonna (A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery) by Maia Chance is officially released this week. This is the third in the cozy mystery series that started with 2014's release of Snow White Red-Handed (A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery) and continued with the 2015 release of Cinderella Six Feet Under (A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery)

Maia shared a guest post in 2015 when the series was launched. Read the SurLaLune post at Guest Post: Maia Chance, Author of Snow White Red-Handed and the book announcement at Snow White Red-Handed (A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery) by Maia Chance.

Book description:

From the author of Cinderella Six Feet Under, a beauty must solve a beastly murder.

Variety hall actress Ophelia Flax knows how to win over an audience. That’s why she’s accepted the marriage proposal of the brutish Comte de Griffe to nettle her occasional investigative partner—and romantic sparring partner—the pompous if dashing Professor Penrose.

But with his boorish table manners, wild mane of hair, and habit of prowling away the wee hours, the comte has shredded Ophelia’s last nerve. She intends to disengage from her feral fiancé at his winter hunting party—until Penrose, his lovely new fiancée, and a stagecoach of stranded travelers arrive at the comte’s sprawling château. Soon she can’t tell the boars from the bores.

When one of the guests is found clawed and bloody in the orangerie, Ophelia is determined to solve the murder before everyone starts believing the local version of Beauty and the Beast. But until the snows melt, she can’t trust her eyes—or her heart—since even the most civilized people hold beastly secrets...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Coloring Book Week: Rackham's Fairy Tale Coloring Book

Rackham's Fairy Tale Coloring Book (Dover Classic Stories Coloring Book) is not a new coloring book and predates--like many Dover coloring books--the current art therapy/coloring book trend. I love Arthur Rackham's illustrations and this book offers black and white renderings of his color paintings for you to color yourself. The other bonus is that this is priced much lower than most of the other coloring books on the market right now.

For example, here is an original Rackham:

And here is the coloring book version:

The book also offers full text of the fairy tales, so essentially you get to read the stories, see the illustrations and then color them yourself.

Book description:

Preserving all of the characteristic elegance and charm of Rackham's original drawings and watercolors, 30 renderings capture scenes from "Hansel and Gretel," "King Thrushbear," "Doctor Know-All," "Snow White," "Rapunzel," "Sleeping Beauty," and more. The coloring book also includes story adaptations of 17 Grimm fairy tales that retain the folk flavor of the originals.
Here are some more sample pages from the book.